Sheffield Older People’s Charity appeals for volunteers to help combat loneliness
Leading older people’s charity Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) is reaching out to recruit more volunteers in areas of Sheffield where they are most needed.
SCCCC coordinates a highly successful befriending service: ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’, matching up volunteers with isolated older people across the city, to help combat loneliness in Sheffield.
Volunteers are matched with older people based on interests and donate as little as one hour a fortnight to chatting and having a cup of tea and simply being a friend to a lonely older person.
SCCCC are looking for volunteers based in (or that can travel to) areas in S5, S6, S12, S2, S8 and S13 to help offer some company to lonely, isolated older people. Across this area there are a total of 55 isolated older people currently awaiting a friend.
Additionally, anyone who works in or around Sheffield that may travel through any of these areas are being encouraged to donate just an hour of their time on their journey home to have a chat with an older person.
Lynn Smith, SCCCC’s Volunteer Recruitment Officer said;
“Our older people have fascinating stories to tell about their lives and our volunteers often tell us they really enjoy getting to know them, getting back from it just as much as they give out.”
“We believe no one should have no one, everyone deserves to have some company and our volunteers give their time and care so generously to make a difference.”
Volunteers from SCCCC thoroughly enjoy their experiences supporting older people, getting out just as much as their service users, by simply offering their company for a chat and a cup of tea.
Rob Southern has been volunteering with a gentleman called John for 9 months with SCCCC and stated:
“I get a sense that I’ve made a difference, John is very explicit about how much he enjoys the visits. Also, with that, because I see him for only an hour each week it’s amazing how so little from me makes such a difference.”
When asked how important he felt it was that older people in the community were supported, Rob said:
“Hugely, we’re all going to be there one day, and we might need that kind of support and so I think it’s very important.”